The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) is officially smoke-free for staff, patients and visitors from today.
The trust, which runs New Cross and Cannock Chase hospitals, made the decision to go smoke-free in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
It was recommended that all hospital sites should be 100 per cent smoke-free, helping to create a culture where smoking is no longer consider 'the norm', protecting local communities from preventable illness.
Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death in Wolverhampton – and is responsible for more than 2,000 hospital admissions a year. Smoking has been stopped on all trust sites, including the grounds, outside building entrances and in vehicles. Trust staff went smoke-free in January.
David Loughton CBE, chief executive for RWT, said: “We are all living in a challenging and stressful time due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and we appreciate that this may leave some people wanting to smoke while at work or while accessing our services – but smoking remains to be one of the biggest causes of death in this country and that cannot be ignored.
“Through the NHS Long Term Plan, every smoker admitted to our hospitals will now be offered support to quit, while outpatients and staff will be signposted to a number of free resources.
“We are extremely proud to be making this change which actively encourages healthy behaviours and reduces the risk of harm to others.”
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, added: “We warmly welcome the fact that the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has officially become smoke-free from today, on what is also the first day of this year’s Stoptober quit campaign.
“With smokers likely to suffer more severe coronavirus symptoms than non-smokers, it’s never been more important for people to quit, and by becoming smoke free, the trust is leading the way in supporting people to stop smoking.”